Book Review – Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Stay in the Shallows!

I love swimming but the sea has always terrified me. I like to be able to see what’s beneath me and touch the bottom with my toes. After reading this, I’ll definitely never be venturing very far from shore again.
Grant has brilliantly and terrifyingly transformed the pretty little mermaids of fairy tales and Disney films into nightmarish, slimy, slithering monsters that will pursue you with unnatural speed and tear you apart with horrible mouths crammed full of pointed, razor-sharp teeth.
The book is well-written and easy to read, although the frequent use of clichés at the end of paragraphs to create added drama is a little irritating. “They didn’t. But then they never did.” “The screaming takes longer to end, but in time, it does. Everything ends.” etc.
The plot is gripping and compelling. It moves quickly and held my interest throughout.
The dialogue is authentic and witty. There were moments of humour that made me smile, if not actually laugh out loud, but I’m very difficult to please where comedy is concerned.
Although it was technically science fiction, the premise felt frighteningly believable.
There were some scenes that felt a little contrived and threatened the overall authenticity, such as when the protagonist falls into a sea boiling with hundreds of murderous sea creatures that have been killing everyone on sight but, for reasons that are not well-explained, choose to leave her unharmed. Really?
I liked the main characters and cared about what happened to them. I enjoyed the little romance between Tori and Olivia. However, it was impossible not to notice that people from every possible diversity group were represented in the cast; age, race, culture, nationality, physical and mental ability, sexual preference etc. etc. Very correct and appropriate of course, but maybe a little bit over the top for authenticity? Almost every character exhibited at least one of the UK 2010 Equal Opportunities Act “protected characteristics”.
For me, it all came to a rather rushed and unsatisfying conclusion. All of a sudden, the boat shutters come down, the mermaids are dying, the rescue boat arrives and all the survivors live happily ever after.

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